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Thousands Of Bats Froze To Death Under San Antonio's I-35 Bridge During Winter Storm

Texans emerged from their homes this week to enjoy the warm weather after Winter Storm Uri left millions without power.

San Antonians migrated to the River Walk, The Pearl and other downtown areas. There — under the I-35 overpass — they found heaps of dead bats.

The Pearl owns the parking lot under the highway near its property. When the dead bats were found, park officials hired Bob Jenkins Pest and Lawn Service to have the bodies removed.

Austin Brown said he spent three days cleaning the area. When a big truck drives over the bridge, the structure shakes and even more bats fall down.

"Probably 500 or 600 bats per day," Brown estimated.

But not all of them are dead. Some remain crawling in the parking lot and more are still hidden in the crevices under the bridge.

San Antonians usually enjoy watching this bat colony fly out at dusk during the summer months. TPR reported back in 2015 that this colony under I-35 is made up of males exclusively. Their more-famous counterparts under the Congress Street Bridge in Austin are females.

KUT also reports dead bats have been found under bridges and overpasses in Austin.

Texas Parks and Wildlife officials are asking for any sightings of dead wildlife from the winter storm to be reported.

"Texas Parks and Wildlife is trying to better understand the impacts of Winter Storm Uri (mid-February 2021) on wildlife. Please contribute any observations of wildlife that you suspect were killed due to the cold and include photos where possible," their website states.

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Bri Kirkham can be reached at bri@tpr.org or on Twitter at @BriKirk